Local News

  • Qualls hired to search for new director

    The Roane County Board of Education picked Wayne Qualls to assist in the search for a new director of schools.

    “We felt like we’ve had pretty good service with Mr. Qualls,” Board Member Danny Wright said.

    Qualls has led past searches for the board, including ones that ended with the hiring of Toni McGriff, Gary Aytes and Leah Rice Watkins.

  • Jilted man accused in stabbing

    Mitchell Wright reportedly didn’t react kindly to finding another man in his home one recent morning. He was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing the man.

    The incident happened on Nov. 9.

    According to the warrant, Kingston Police Officer Alex French contacted Detective Keith Kile around 3:50 a.m. about a stabbing call at 533.5 Greenwood St.


    Editor’s note: While we’re all making our Thanksgiving menu preparations, we thought we’d ask some experts for new and unique ways to prepare the centerpiece of Thursday’s meal. You are, of course, welcome to stick to traditional methods of preparing your turkey. A special thanks to Midtown Elementary Principal Kendra Inman, first-grade teachers Emily Duncan, Lauren Simpson and Kayla Wadlington and their students for helping with this project. Happy Thanksgiving!


  • Johnson calls to remember TVA ash spill

    The ash spill continues to make headlines nearly 10 years after the disaster.

    The most recent were sparked by a federal jury’s verdict in the civil trial involving Jacobs Engineering Group and people who worked on the years long cleanup at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant.

    The jury of six women and four men found Jacobs failed to exercise reasonable care in carrying out the duties it owed to the workers.

    The jury also found the breach of duty was capable of causing illnesses that the workers allege they are suffering from.

  • REU nixes broadband

    The Rockwood Electric Utility Board Thursday declined to move forward with a recently discussed broadband access proposal.

    The board had recently discussed several fiber-optic based broadband proposals that could provide various levels of coverage at a cost of $10 million to $34 million.

    The motion to continue to examine the possibility of providing broadband could not get a second.

    “For now this means the board will take no further action,” said REU General Manager Kendall Bear.

  • Hwy. 70 site ruled appropriate for mega high school

    Roane County Executive Ron Woody wanted the Planning Commission to take a look at the site where the Board of Education is planning to build a new high school. The Planning Commission did so, and determined the site is good enough for the proposed project.

    “Based on the data currently available to the Roane Regional Planning Commission, the planning commission concluded that this proposed site (Hamilton Property) is a suitable site for a consolidated high school,” Building Official Glen Cofer said in a email to Woody.

  • Man in AMBER alert case moved to Roane

    The suspect in the disappearance of a Rockwood teen was booked into the Roane County Jail last week.

    Robert Andrew Garren, 31, is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of aggravated statutory rape.

    The TBI issued an Amber Alert for the teen on Nov. 8.

    She was later found with Garren in Henry County, Ga.

    Garren was picked up at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday and transported to Roane County, where he remained jailed on Friday.

  • Dogwood Drive project faces scrutiny

    The Kingston City Council on Tuesday decided to delay voting on authorization to execute a contract with Tennessee Department of Transportation for the Dogwood Drive Expansion Project.

    The $1.7 million project to improve the road would require Kingston pay half the cost, or about $850,000.

    The city would have to take out a loan to finance the project.

    Councilwoman Stephanie Wright made a motion to table the vote until new members of the council were seated and had time to review the issue.

  • TBI shows the tools of their trade

    TBI held a media event at its Knoxville crime lab this fall.

    “Traditionally, TBI was founded to work those complicated crime scenes that the small agencies can’t work,” said Mike Lyttle, assistant director of forensic services for the TBI.

    “Homicides typically, usually in rural areas where they don’t have a large enough police force to deal with that.”

    TBI officials gave a tour of the crime lab and provided an up close look at some of the tools the agency uses to conduct investigations.